Start the Conversation

20 Questions with Kevin Cahill from Canadian Legacy Builder

FS Local asked local business owners to let the FS Local community in on what makes me uniquely me. Why do I love my city? Where do I spend my off-time?  What are my most craved eats? 

This was originally published March 25th 2014 on FS Local.  To view it online click HERE


20 Questions with Kevin Cahill from Canadian Legacy Builder

Posted by: Jesse Wallace  March 25, 2014

Name: Kevin Cahill

Occupation: Legacy Builder

On the Web:

Follow: @cdnlegacybldr

Bio:  Author, Speaker, lover of Ontario wine paired with delicious food. Founder of Canadian Legacy Builder focused on Securing Lifestyles & Legacies For People Who Care

1. Where do you call home? Downtown Guelph – a city in Southwestern Ontario roughly 28 kilometres east of Waterloo and 100 kilometres west of downtown Toronto.

2. What do you love most about it? Guelph is a vibrant, green, walk-able city that has a unique historical charm with a laid back friendly atmosphere.  With two rivers running through the downtown core, there are no shortages of walking paths and trails to keep you active and stimulated.  We are also a University town that brings an incredible amount of diversity and energy year round.

3. Born and raised or Johnny-come-lately? I was born and raised in a small town south of Ottawa, Greely.  I moved to Guelph for University in 1997 and have called it home ever since.

4. Is it a winter wonderland or summertime paradise? One of the things I love is that it is both!  Market Square at City hall has an outdoor rink in the wintertime that has its own Zamboni while in the summer it is converted into a splash pad for the kids of all ages.  With no shortage of coffee shops and patios it definitely is an all-season destination.

5. What’s your commute like? It is 50 steps from my front door to my desk.  My office is located on the main floor of a 9-story condominium building.  I live on the 4th floor of the same building.  My office faces west and my residential condo faces east.  As my son says it is like working from home except there is an elevator.

6. What do you do on a day off? I have a 6 year old son who keeps me very busy.  However I do play hockey in the winter, golf and tennis in the summer.  I love going for a walk, reading in the sunshine, checking out a movie, card games or playing catch at the park.  I also love cooking and trying out new recipes.  A year ago I started a food and wine blog and each week I try out a new recipe and focus on pairing it with the perfect wine.  And yes even cookies, like Pumpkin Chocolate Chip find a perfect match with a young Cabernet Sauvignon.

7. It’s my first time in town. Where should we go? Wow, such a tough question.  I would go Downtown, grab a coffee at any of the awesome coffee shops and just go for a stroll.  We have so many cute shops, cafes and restaurants that you really could spend a whole day just exploring and checking out the architecture and the history.  If you are here on a Saturday morning definitely check out the Farmers Market and when I give a tour I always highlight The Bookshelf.  In one building you have a cafe, restaurant, movie theatre and bookstore.  It has something for everyone.  Be sure to take a stroll on the University of Guelph Campus and take in the panoramic view of the city from the patio at Cutten Fields.

8. Is there anything you’d change about it? Like every town we have our issues. As someone with expertise in finances and an interest in history, I would love to see our current and future administrations become more fiscally responsible for future generations.  I feel current governments spend 4 years trying to get elected and then another 4 years trying to get re-elected with little focus on the future.  It is time to stop mortgaging the present to pay for the past at the expense of the future.

9. Where do you go when it’s time to get away? I have a few places I love to escape to.  I belong to a few wineries in the Niagara Region including Peller Estates.  It is always a great weekend destination for me to experience great wine and amazing food.  My sister has a cottage north of Kingston that is a decent drive for those times I have a desire to be on a lake away from the hustle.  When it is time for a longer vacation you will find me on a Carnival cruise ship or on a beach in Cuba.

10. Favourite local landmark: Church of Our Lady which is a Gothic style-church that was built between 1875 and 1883 stands overlooking downtown Guelph. The monumental church contains decorative carving and stained glass.  When John Galt founded Guelph, he allocated the highest point in the centre of town to Roman Catholics.  According to the Guelph Public Library archives, Galt, wrote the following statement in the deed transferring the land on which the Church stands: “On this hill would one day rise a church to rival St. Peter’s in Rome.”  The church was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1990.

11. Best local event or festival: We have so many.  Hillside Festival is a 3 day annual weekend performance event of bluegrass, folk and other singers and musicians held at Guelph Lake in July.  We also host other events like Sparkles in the Park, the Guelph Multicultural Festival, Rib Fest, Jazz Fest, and Art in the Street.  Seems like each weekend there is something going on.  You can definitely be as busy as you want to be.

12. Favourite local team: Guelph Storm – Not only does the team have a tradition of excellence but also this season they finished the season first in the Ontario Hockey League.  I have had season tickets since 2001 and it has been amazing to see the players grow up in junior and now to share that experience with my son has been amazing.

13. Favourite local celebrity: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae.  He was a Canadian poet, physician, author, artist and soldier during World War I, and a surgeon during the Second Battle of Ypres, in Belgium. He is best known for writing the famous war memorial poem “In Flanders Fields”. I have always loved the line which is also printed in the Montreal Canadians locker room; ‘From failing hands we throw the torch, be it yours to hold high’.  The line is also very fitting with the Canadian Legacy Builder motto!

14. Time to shop. Historic downtown or Big Box Land? Both depending on the need. Guelph is diverse!  We have a historic downtown as well as Big Box Land around the periphery of the town.

15. Favourite Mom & Pop shop: Having been involved in the business community for the past decade I feel very grateful and fortunate to have met most of the towns small business owners.  We have so much talent and passion, but my favorite is Kamil Juices  as they are committed to harvesting & delivering only 100% pure fresh grape juice.  Kamil Juices partners with vineyards and wineries from some of the most prestigious wine growing regions in the world, such as Germany, Italy and France to allow individuals to experience natural winemaking, pure grape juices and superior service, as they say ‘From heir Vines to Your Wines!’  Adrian who runs the business is also active in the community and is a proud father to two beautiful 1 year old twin girls.

16. Favourite local restaurant: Baker Street Station for a few reasons.  First it is 20 steps away from my condo and second it is a unique pub experience in Guelph.  The Baker Street Station offers fine food and drink in a thoroughly modern yet surprisingly traditional atmosphere.  My favorite lunch item is Tofu & Quinoa Salad and they even have their own smoker on site where they smoke their own meats including their wings.

17. Best place to grab a coffee or tea: I highly recommend Red Brick Cafe.  It is a cute little location tucked away on Douglas Street.  It feels like a little bit of Europe in the heart of downtown Guelph.

18. Grocery store or farmers market? Both!  We have a great farmers market that runs year round every Saturday morning located in the heart of downtown Guelph.  It is important to make sure you have a lot of time not only for shopping but also for the conversations that ensues with the people you meet.  My routine usually involves getting a breakfast sandwich from Taste Fine Foods and a coffee when I first arrive and then a cinnamon bun when I leave.  Important to have priorities :)

19. Tell us something only locals know: In the downtown core there is a bar called “The Albion Hotel”. It was built in 1856, but American gangster Al Capone – who had ties to John Sleeman, founder of Sleeman Breweries – was rumoured to be a frequent guest in the 1920s. When he wasn’t smuggling booze across the border (supplied by Sleeman) Capone visited his mistress who lived at the hotel – until she was found dead.  There is a lot of speculation… Some people think she killed herself; some people think Capone killed her or hired someone to do it. Legend has it that her spirit still haunts the hotel to this day.

20. What does supporting local mean to you? Supporting Local is about building communities that are healthier and sustainable which are backed by local economies that are stronger and more resilient. It means we use regional resources to meet our needs. It recognizes that not one of us can do it alone and that we’re all better off when we’re all better off. It is about building economy, right where we live. It starts with expanding and diversifying local ownership and business cooperation in a particular place.  I firmly believe the answers to the world’s problems do not exist at any level of government, they exist in the hearts and minds of the passionate people in our communities and when we have greater personal accountability for the health of the natural and human communities of which we are a part the end goal of real prosperity for all will be achieved.

See more of our 20 Questions With… interviews here.